Reg Mombassa

After the initial paragraph(s) of his biography…..
Mombassa’s artwork is of two distinctive styles.   The type of artwork he designs for Mambo – almost cartoonish and in vivid colours, incorporating religious, political and popular culture themes – is probably the one for which he is most widely known for.   However, his landscapes and portraits are equally sought by collectors all around the world.
Mombassa’s earlier artwork revolved around solitary houses of the style that his father had built; simple fibro homes bleached white in the sun.   This theme was again revisited, suggesting a sense of nostalgia. For example, ‘Ancestral Shrine’, according to Mombassa, refers to the spiritual significance that certain houses or locations can assume in a person’s memory or dreams.   But on the other hand, no ordinary life is really that ordinary, and Mombassa’s wilder imaginings are really just an exploration of what lies behind the cladding of our weatherboard hearts; the darker, stranger impulses that shape us.   He wants to set us free from society’s restrictions, all the while honouring the basic goods of life: parents, children, a home, a backyard to play in.
Mombassa also painted miniatures in acrylic paint on little pieces of Masonite. “I like painting miniatures” said Mombassa, “because you can finish a picture relatively quickly and it is also a reaction against the modern tendency towards very large paintings. The implication being that “unless it’s enormous, it’s not very good.”
Mombassa seduced a younger generation with his graphic work for the fashion label Mambo. Mambo’s aim was to produce clothing at a premium price, that helped Australians laugh at themselves.   Mombassa took the mickey out of the Australian Coat of Arms by having a kangaroo and an emu sip from a can of “Mambo bitter”.   Across Australia, young professionals started wearing shorts and t-shirts bearing images of farting dogs and suburban streets lined with telegraph poles....